Background Ependymal tumors are glial tumors that commonly manifest in children and young adults. Their classification has remained entirely morphological until recently, and surgery and radiotherapy are the main treatment options, especially in adults. Here we sought to correlate DNA methylation profiles with clinical and pathological characteristics in the prospective cohort of the German Glioma Network. Methods Tumors from 122 adult patients with myxopapillary ependymoma, ependymoma, anaplastic ependymoma, subependymoma or RELA fusion-positive ependymoma classified according to the World Heath Organization classification (WHO) 2016 were subjected to DNA methylation profiling using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip platform. Molecular data were correlated with histologic features and clinical characteristics. Results At a median follow-up of 86.7 months, only 22 patients experienced progression (18.0%) and 13 patients (10.7%) died. Each tumor could be assigned to one of the previously defined molecular ependymoma subgroups. All histologic subependymomas corresponded to subependymoma (SE) DNA methylation subgroups, but the reverse was not true: 19 histologic ependymomas (WHO grade II) were allocated to molecular SE groups. Similarly, all histological myxopapillary ependymomas were assigned to the molecularly defined SP-MPE class, but this molecular subgroup additionally included 15 WHO grade II ependymomas by histology. Overall, WHO grade II ependymomas distributed into seven molecular subgroups. Conclusions Most adult patients with ependymoma show a favorable prognosis. Molecular classification may provide diagnostic and prognostic information beyond histology and facilitate patient stratification in future clinical trials. The prognostic significance of a subependymoma or myxopapillary ependymoma DNA methylation phenotype without according histology requires further study.